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« on: April 06, 2008, 11:58:55 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of April 4th, 2008


Starting off at home...

JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES

QUESTION:  Iconic scenes in the Saga tend to make for some interesting figures.  One such iconic scene from REVENGE OF THE SITH among fans seems to be Yoda's "Sword in the Clone" moment, as he and Obi-Wan fight their way into the Jedi Temple.  Would something like this be a viable candidate for a Basic Figure pack, even though it might incorporate 2 figures that could stand on their own as Basic Figures?  Or would this be a more likely candidate for something like the Order 66 2-packs?

ANSWER:   We like to theme our waves as much as possible, and have made basic figures in the past that "interact" with other figures to form a scene, so it is not out of the question that we could do ideas like this.  However, that's not where our focus is on basic figures and we like to look for ideas where figures could go together in the same pack for things like Order 66 or the upcoming Droid Factory exclusive packs.  Exclusives like Order 66 do need strong figures that could be basic figures themselves; if you look at the lineup, there are many core heroes in those packs, needed to "anchor" the quality of the set and give kids something to meet their interests.  As great as Tsui Choui is to us collectors, we still need to deliver the Vaders and Obi-Wans for kid traction.


QUESTION:  The Saga Legends for later this year is reportedly offering characters that we're going to see in the Clone Wars line, such as Anakin, Obi-Wan & Yoda but in the movie-realistic style.  It also seems to be widely accepted that these figures will be reissues, as we've seen in the 2007/08 Saga Legends line.  Will this upcoming Saga Legends line mine recent figure sculpts, or in keeping with this year's Clone Wars theme, can we expect reissues from 2003's Clone Wars line?

ANSWER:   All of the Saga Legends figures coming this Fall will be resissues of current "realistic" sculpts.  We will not be reissuing the 2003/4 Clone Wars sculpts again.


QUESTION:  In your most recent responses to JTA's Q&A session, you mentioned that the V-Wing fighter will be carried forward in the Clone Wars starfighter vehicle assortment.  We've also seen indications that there is another wave of REVENGE OF THE SITH Basic Figures on tap for the Legacy Collection.  Given those factors, and collectordom's love affair with all things Clone Trooper, could we be in store for a V-Wing Pilot Clone sometime in the near future?

ANSWER:   Not for this year, but we are looking at one possibily for 2009.




And now to continue on through the Star Wars collecting commuinity:


4-INCHES.DE

QUESTION:  A few months ago Hasbro announced a Bothan figure in the Q&A. What has happened to this figure? Is the character that the figure is based on Master Hudorra from the Republic #79 Comic?

ANSWER:  It's possible that we'll have a sneak peak at San Diego Comic Con. It will not be based on Master Hudorra, although we do like him. We already used Republic #79 for the Commander Keller/Galactic Marine comic pack, so if we ever do Master Hudorra, it would be in some other fashion.


QUESTION:  Ak-Rev comes out with the second part of the big drum and with a drumstick. The band will then at last be completed. But what is the deal with this other instrument Ak-Rev plays? Will Hasbro jumps at the chance to release this to a later time perhaps within another figure compilation or in a new band edition? What considerations have led to the decision not putting this instrument in the Ak-Rev package?

ANSWER:  It's a question of costing. We planned the release of the drum in two halves and this pack is packed as it is. We have no plans to release Ak-Rev with another instrument.


QUESTION:  In Germany we do have some problems refering availability, price and case-composition of the Star Wars Action Figure line that we want to pick out as a central theme encouraged by lots of collectors and likewise by a lot of retailers in Germany. The distribution of the Star Wars segment is nearly exclusively ruled by one single wholeseller. Formerly there were a handful of wholesellers but in the last years only one wholeseller had focussed on the whole sortiment of action figures. Last year that wholeseller has closed down and another single wholeseller has carried over the distribution of the Star Wars segment. Like each seller does this wholeseller even has to calculate his business. Within the last months it has turned out that this wholeseller is rather hesitant and cautious with his ordering policy and it had happened that more and more Star Wars items didn't find their way to the German collector. Unfortunately retailers are not allowed to order directly from Hasbro and of course it is not allowed to import items that are not available in Germany from the US or other countries. So collectors do have to pay a lot more money for each single action figure than in other countries. Another point is the awkward case-mix that seems to be not balanced well in a nearly 100% collector market that Germany is. Retailers don't sell Darth Vader figures as well as in the US but have to buy 3 Darth Vader figures each case to sell other figures at least one time that are asked for by the collectors. So retailers have begun to sell the whole case but single figures and collectors do have pay more and more money to get their desired figures and have to throw away their hundreds of Darth Vader figures. More and more collectors order their figures via ebay or direct from US retailers so more and more retailers give up the Star Wars segment. All these trends do spoil the party for most collectors. The demand is high to let Hasbro take more attention to the German market. Sollutions to these problems would be
a) offer solid cases (the market is too small for bad case-mixes and retailers would better be able to buy exact those figures that would be selling and in consequence they would sell more figures as yet,
b) prices should not rise over 10 EUR per figure,
c) offer better availability of toys for Germany or at least advertise if and when some certain items would be available (even if delayed) and
d) perhaps allow retailers to buy directly from Hasbro to avoid higher prices or less availability.

ANSWER:  Thanks for the thorough update. In the U.S., where the product line is developed, we were not aware of the severity of changes to the German marketplace. Some of the changes you suggest are not possible (solid case packs of figures) or out of our control (retail figure pricing), but the others deserve scrutiny and we will look at them. The German market (and German collector) is very important to us but unfortunately things are no so simple as the German market by itself is not large enough to commend separate production; our releases must be synched up with the broader EU releases. We are looking at options to figure this out though....thanks for sticking with us as we work through these issues.




ACTIONFIGS.COM

QUESTION:  Many collectors have noted that Moff Jerjerrod was not a great seller and can still be found in stores, while it seemed as though Admiral Ozzel, Captain Piett, and Grand Moff Tarkin seemed to have sold better. There are times where Hasbro really nails a likeness, but unfortunately Moff Jerjerrod did not look like the actor and had an angry facial expression not seen in Return of the Jedi. Would Hasbro ever consider resculpting this figure or does the perceived poor performance of the Jerjerrod figure make it unlikely he would ever be revisited. Do you agree that if this figure sold poorly it may have been in part because of a poor likeness?

ANSWER:  We don't attribute a lingering quantity of his figure to the likeness (we think he is a nice addition to the officer ranks). Instead, it is due to the fact that we released him at levels higher than we had typically gone for purely collector-targeted figures. In any case, he was one of those characters that helps us figure out our "baseline" for collector-targeted figures.


QUESTION:  A number of fans would like to see more figures from the SW Holiday Special, which you've stated is not a priority for Hasbro. One of the characters from it, Ackmena, played by Bea Arthur, has been getting some traction lately in the collector community as a figure they'd like to see made. Before fans get too fired up, might you comment on if Hasbro even HAS the licensed authority needed to make a Bea Arthur Ackmena figure? (If by some miracle the answer is "yes", could you posit on its chances of being made?)

ANSWER:  The SW Holiday Special is not high on our list, or importantly, Lucasfilm's and as such, any additional figures have a very, very low likelihood of being produced. It is something best forgotten, and we are happy that we were able to at least get Boba Fett out of there.


QUESTION:  Has there been any thought about doing a few deliberate variations to some of the figures this year as running changes offered in later assortments, like you did with the ROTS line? For instance, the new '08 Anakin-as-Vader figure could be repainted with Sith eyes, or the '08 Obi-Wan could be redeco'ed with battle damage.

ANSWER:  We don't have any plans to do that for figures this year. Instead, we would probably release those as separate figures down the road.




GALACTIC HUNTER

QUESTION:  Just wondering if Hasbro has a "green" initiative. Are the plastics used in the manufacturing of Star Wars figures recyclable? And if so would it be feasible to do a mail-in redemption using action figures instead of UPCs? I know I wouldn't mind shipping off three or four figures to receive a new one, especially if it was helping to save the planet. (Question from MisterPL, resident hippie.)

ANSWER:  We do have a green initiative related to reducing the materials we use whenever possible.  On the figure question - while it's a very interesting and appealing suggestion - there are many issues surrounding doing something like that.  Foremost would be the overall carbon footprint of shipping back/providing a new figure for replacement, which would not result in a significant amount of material that could be recycled (figures in general do not use large amounts of plastic themselves). Second, since we do not do domestic figure manufacturing, we would need to get the the figures back to Asia which would further defeat the purpose.  In short... it would consume more resources than would be saved. Very interesting thought, though... thanks.


QUESTION:  Is there any chance you can give us a look at what the new Darth Vader's 3-piece helmet looks like when disassembled? (Question from Shabby Blue, roving reporter.)

ANSWER:  Sorry, but we still don't have our pre-production samples to send you any updated pics.


QUESTION:  More an observation and a couple suggestions than a question for Hasbro: My 6-year-old daughter enjoys playing with my vintage Ewok Village playset using her Galactic Heroes figures. The two generations of product are surprisingly compatible.

Very recently she discovered the Ewok Battle Wagon and has added that to her list of favorite toys. (She loves the working winches and knocks over block walls with the battering ram.)

My suggestions: 1) Offer more Ewoks in the Galactic Heroes line and 2) reissue both of these toys under the Galactic Heroes brand not only for the younger demographic but for the older collectors who just want to get their hands on these fun toys. (Question from MisterPL, stay-at-home Mom.)

ANSWER:  Those are great suggestions.  We hadn't considered using these old toys as part of the Galactic Heroes universe, but we will take a look.  Great ideas.  Please tell your daughter that more Ewoks are on the way, and first up is a special Cinema Scene available at Target including three Speeder Bikes, one with Paploo.




JEDI INSIDER

QUESTION:  Is there any chance of seeing a re-sculpted Yak Face figure in near future?

ANSWER:  There is defintely a chance, as one of the Kenner vintage figures, we hope to get a chance to update him and produce a "definitive" version some day. However, there are quite a few brand new or more significant resculpt figures ahead of him from Jabba's Palace....so the wait may be awhile.


QUESTION:  Will the VOTC line be making a return in any way for 2008?

ANSWER:  The VOTC line will not be making a return in 2008.




To be continued.
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2008, 02:10:58 AM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of April 4th, 2008 - Part 2


JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  A question about upcoming Battle Packs. During Toy Fair, you mentioned that you were not sure when the Battle of Mygeeto and Hoth Speeder Patrol sets would hit retail. Will we see these two in the 30AC packaging or will we need to wait until July to find them on the shelves? And any chance we could get a nice image of the new SA Bacara from the Mygeeto set or the Snow Scouts from the Hoth Set?

ANSWER:  Battle of Mygeeto should be out on shelves by mid-April or early May. It will be the last of the 30th Anniversary Battle Packs in the current "footprint." A new line of Battle Packs will debut on 7/26, with slightly different boxed dimensions (a little deeper, a little less tall). Hoth Speeder Patrol was suffering delays and had to be moved out, and will be in the first wave of the new Fall assortment.


QUESTION:  So, when do we get to see more Clone Wars figures? You can’t just make us wait until SDCC for more basic figures, right? I mean, July’s a long way off and we need something to keep us going! So, how about a hint at Wave 2?

ANSWER:  We hope that there will be something to reveal (ideally as part of the now-resumed Republic News Posts) before San Diego Comic Con. It all depends on how the schedules are going; if it is running later than we would like, we'll probably just hold for San Diego Comic Con.


QUESTION:  Since you were willing to share pics of the SDCC exclusive Disturbance in the Force set, can you share pics of the planned Mighty Muggs exclusives - Commander Gree and the Golden Idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark?

ANSWER:  Glad to help!

See images HERE




JEDI NEWS

QUESTION:  How far in advance do you plan a new figures release, how long does it take to develop a figure and can you explain some of the design and build process? Also, how much input do LucasFilm have in the design of the figures and do they request certain figures to be made?

ANSWER:  Genenerally, the mainline assortments and stand alone items (those offered to all retailers) are planned from 15-24 months in advance. Exclusives are developed on a shorter lead time - 8-15 months depending on whether there is new tooling involved and the complexity of the item, and are usually developed as retailer promotional windows become clear.  For the mainline, we plan out a year's worth of product at once, and then develop systematically, wave by wave, as we go through the year.  Sometimes, there will be changes as we go through the year depending on schedules and deadlines. In about six months time we should have a good idea of what we will be doing for 2010.  While we brainstorm and come up with the broad brushstrokes of the line, Lucasfilm has a great deal of input (and complete approval) over all figure selections, sculpts, etc.


QUESTION:  We know there are 2 Mandalorian Comic Packs coming but with more having been written about Mandalorians (Legacy of the Force series of Books, etc) will there be any more Mandalorian figures coming, for example Mirta Gec, Goran Beviin, Ram Zerimar or maybe Jodo Kast?

ANSWER:  At least one of those figures will be coming out this year.  The rest have not been slotted into the lineup anywhere, since it is relatively difficult for us to do novel figures without the visual reference of a comic to draw from. Given the popularity of Mandos, though, there is a chance we will be looking at more down the road.


QUESTION:  Have there been any further discussions between yourselves and Sideshow Collectibles with regard to the production of play-sets?  If so, are you able to shed any light on this?

ANSWER:  There is no new news to report on this front.




RAVING TOY MANIAC

QUESTION:  It was mentioned in a Q&A last year that Hasbro had potential plans to re-release some of the figures that kept *just* missing out on winning the polls for Saga Legends such as Ephant Mon, Pablo-Jill, Sio Bibble, R3-A2, and Coleman Trebor. Are there any plans to get any of these figures back out to collectors in any form in 2008-2009?

ANSWER:  We don't have any specific plans right now for these guys. If the opportunity beckons, for example in future waves of the new Saga Legends, they will be good candidates for inclusion.


QUESTION:  Any chance of re-releasing the old Unleashed figures that were hard to find? Maybe as a Target exclusive ala the Luke & Vader versions from a few years ago?

ANSWER:  We don't have any plans to re-release any more Unleashed 7". Not to say it won't ever happen, but our focus remains elsewhere.


QUESTION:  Are there any OT battle packs scheduled for 2008? Possibly one featuring Jabba's skiff guards?

ANSWER:  There are OTC battlepacks slotted for 2008 (and 2009), but none feature Jabba's Skiff Guards. Details on the new packs will be announced at San Diego Comic Con. We promise there WILL be some pleasant surprises for fans of the Original Trilogy.




REBELSCUM

QUESTION:  Where's Lumat? On the sticker sheet in the Action Figure Base Packs, Lumat appears on the list. While the "Graak" figure from 2007 appears to be based on the same Ewok photo that the vintage Lumat figure was based on, they apparently are different characters. Speculation was that we'd see Lumat in the ROTJ wave (what's now been revealed as The Legacy Collection wave 1), but that turned out to be another Ewok named "Leektar". So back to our original question....where's Lumat? Has he been bumped in favor of lesser-known Ewoks, or are there plans for this long-lost figure to come out? Longtime fans want to know if we can look forward to checking off another vintage upgraded figure!

ANSWER:  Yes, indeed. Lumat was originally meant to be the figure we were doing in the two-pack with Romba. Lucasfilm asked us to change him to Graak, but the sticker sheet was already out to be printed. Someday soon we hope to get to Lumat.


QUESTION:  Another question on a mystery figure....in the latest issue of Star Wars Insider, there is a photo of a blue-striped Stormtrooper figure from The Force Unleashed. Wizards of the Coast's miniature game identifies this character as a "Felucian Stormtrooper Officer" and the Unleashed Battle Packs identify him as a "Stormtrooper Commander." While loose and carded photos have leaked (on a TAC cardback, no less), we've not heard anything official on this character. We understand the frequent delays of TFU has changed the release of some tie-ins, but it seems the bulk of Hasbro's line is still on target, except for this one. Can you shed any light on this figure, and where and when fans can acquire him?

ANSWER:  This figure, a Stormtrooper Commander, will indeed be released as part of an upcoming promotion dealing with The Force Unleashed. As the game was delayed, so too was the promotion. Details have still yet to be announced or finalized, but the figure should be out around the time the game is released.


QUESTION:  In a recent Q&A session with our friends over at Jedi Defender, it was revealed that there will be another wave of Saga Legends repacks in the fall, featuring kid-targeted characters from the Clone Wars era. Without giving away the figures in this line, I'm wondering which characters you have listed as "kid-oriented", meaning are there in fact specific characters that are primarily targeted towards kids? If so, who are they? Also, which characters do you consider targeted towards collectors?

On a similar note, are there any characters that are "must haves" when you are setting up a line for the year? Presumably the ones listed above would fall into this category, but are there any others that are shoo-ins?

ANSWER:  Kid-targeted figures include heroes and key villains (characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, R2-D2, General Grievous, etc) as well as core troopers and key droid opponents. In general these are figures that kids want in order to play out the major battles, which are also figures that we have a strong history with as "outperformers" because kids select these before anything else.

Since these are re-releases, with no changes, we consider these releases to be kid-targeted, even though collectors may be interested in the troops, or to some extent, the change to a new line. We don't have room in the Fall assortment to offer any collector-targeted Saga Legends as we did for the 30th line (based on voting). It's possible we could add that later for 2009, but for Fall '08 it will be all hands on deck to get the hero potential on shelf as quickly as possible for the movie and TV series.


Rebelscum: Finally, this is not really a question, but I'd like to show our support for Jedi Defender's recent request for fans to follow the development on the Willrow Hood figure. We'd love to watch the step-by-step development on this fan-supported figure!




To be continued.
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2008, 11:37:02 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of April 4th, 2008 - Part 3


SANDTROOPERS

QUESTION:  2008 TAC sees a return to the pack-in stands last seen in 2006. What about the Legacy Collection and the Clone Wars figures? Will they also contain stands? And if so, will the Clone Wars come with a Clone Wars stand or the generic Expanded Universe stand? While I'm on the subject of stands... I know that in past Q&A sessions you have mentioned that revisiting the sticker sheet for a new set of names is not something on the horizon. But what about if you were to make a package that contained software and blank sticker sheets so that fans and collectors could print their own name stickers, similar to what Testors does with their car and airplane model makers? And what would be the chances of releasing the stands in small packs - say 25 or so - of a movie specific stand instead of the entire set, so that someone could buy 30 ROTS stands to display a Clone Army or 30 ESB stands to display a Snowtrooper army, or something like that?

ANSWER:  The stands (which are still available on HasbroToyShop.com) have done OK, but not great enough yet for us to make a re-release from the first batch.  It's a nice item to keep availalable, but we wouldn't be able to get near the forecast required to do dedicated packs by movie. At the rate of sales predicted for each, we would have to release years worth of inventory up front - not a prudent decision.  Instead, we'll continue to make available the current pack.  When that sells out, we will release a new sticker sheet, but we aren't really near that point yet.  We have no plans to return stands to the basic figures for 2008/2009, because each of the basic figure sublines already have extra pack-ins that take the place of coins/stand: Legacy will come with a Droid Factory, Clone Wars figures will come with attachable missile launchers for the most part, and the new Saga Legends will come with a small packs of spare weapons.


QUESTION:  You recently said no to the idea of modular playsets in battlepacks due to the usual reasons (cost and no play value for the kids). That's understandable so what about revisiting the idea of scene-specific stands like what we saw in the RotS line?  You had a few stands that were generically sculpted (hallway/Temple, swampy/Dagobah-ish, rocky/Mustfarish) and were able to get some nice variety of scenes by just repainting them differently.  These stands obviously had some intent on being able to connect together (especially the hallway/Temple one) but as much as I struggled with it, I was disappointed to find that I couldn't make anything sensible with the pieces.

This felt like a huge missed opportunity since if Hasbro was going to pay for the tooling of these stands anyway, a better design that incorporated more seamless and logical connectibility could've allowed your company to, in future years, release more environmental stands that plugged in and could eventually give us our Tantive IV hal lway or Hoth rebel base or Death Star hallway... And by making one stand into an "intersection" piece that let us connect many separate stretches of hallways together, we could literally build our own Death Star/Tantive passageways as large as we're willing to pay up for (by buying more and more SW figures of course, to get those stands). And a slit in the floor moulding would allow us to slide in either a cardboard or thin plastic wall piece.  So how about this idea? It'd be like Build-a-Diorama but done slowly over years to reward collectors for sticking with the hobby (especially when figures are getting more expensive to collect) and the cost would be incorporated into the cost of the stands as you did with the RotS line.

ANSWER:  The idea has some merit, but it simply isn't practical for a number of reasons. To do it the "right way" we would have to start with a completed playset model and then chop it up and distribute it across 50 to 60 packs. (We can hear the shouts of fans saying "Yes!  Yes!  That is exactly what we want!").  However, where the idea falls apart is in the amount of tooling required to do that and the end-result being structurally very poor and probably not aesthetically pleasing. If we  thought there was an opportunity to make a specific playset scene, we would just commit to doing it as one item.  The Episode III stands were an attempt to build something greater with an environment-specific stand; however, the product ends-up looking generic anyway and not scene-specific since the stands themselves were constrained by the needs to connect together universally. To have made each one different and unique, to make a unique structural element such as a blockade runner hallway or what-have-you, we would have had to do each as a separate tooled part, which would have dwarfed our tooling budget assinged for the pack-ins.


QUESTION:  I've always wondered about this: the RotS Padme figure did not have a "baby bump" even though the character had a full belly at that point in the movie. Your Saga line Taun We figure came with a container for a clone baby yet oddly the ba by was absent inside. In both cases, was there some concern about the negative reaction from the more conservative elements of your customer base that caused you to go in the direction you did?  I can see that an action figure of a pregnant woman or of a genetically-engineered baby might offend some people but I've always been curious if this was Hasbro's reasoning too. And if not, does that mean we might actually get a "clone baby in a bottle" someday?

ANSWER:  In the case of Padme, she does have a bump to indicate her pregnancy, but it is not nearly as stated as the upcoming Evolutions figure.  We wanted to present her as an action figure still at that stage, to appeal to the greatest audience of kids as well as collectors, so we chose to dial back a bit.  As for Taun We, we did think that showing the baby was too stark an image and chose not to include one in the capsule.  Could we do one in an incubation chamber some day? It's possible, but we have no plans right now.




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE

QUESTION:  Regarding Luke Jedi in his Death Star 2 look, the only basic figure of this is from 5 years ago, is preposed, has an action gimmick with floppy arms, and a likeness somewhere between "caveman" and "Harpo Marx". That despite Luke DS2 being the only OT main character figure in the last Fans' Choice poll's top 25 - 10 of the 14 figures above him are made or confirmed, as well as 4 of the 9 figures beneath. Hasbro's past answer on this matter was "theming issues, it may be a while, hang in there," yet since the 2003 DS2 Luke figure there have been 7 ROTJ waves and 2 Vintage-style lines with ROTJ figures; as well as 4 more Luke Jedi with Jabba's Palace outfits and Toy Fair has shown yet another ROTJ wave, this time with a Jabba's Palace-styled Luke Jedi from a deleted scene; and the previous new Luke Jedi figure could have fit the bill with its removable vest and outer belt yet was designed specifically against making it into DS2 Luke. Fans want Luke DS2, most of the other Fans' Choice poll results have been made or confirmed, Hasbro's had several opportunities, now we have sandstorm Luke coming - a deleted scene figure - over Luke DS2 which is baffling. So what's the full story here, why no Luke Jedi DS2 yet again? When can collectors finally get the last main OT character's significant costume yet to be done as an action figure?

ANSWER:  We chose the deleted Sandstorm theme to bind several core characters together. We had long planned to do both versions, but the Sandstorm scene came first in rotation because of our desire for the new Han and Chewie, so a new Death Star II Luke was slotted into the next Episode VI wave. We are pleased to announce that if our schedule holds, you will see the next Episode VI wave in late Spring 2009.


QUESTION:  Back in 1996, Kenner/Hasbro was developing a Virago vehicle toy for the Shadows of the Empire figure line to go along with the 2 other vehicles the line produced. Several pieces of concept and packaging art were produced, a retailer-enticement sheet describing some cool features was found not too long ago, as well as a prototype model, but the vehicle never materialized. The Galoob Action Fleet Virago remains one of the most sought-after vehicles on ebay, as this ship makes for a unique and exciting Star Wars toy. Did your Virago design ever get turned into a mold? Does Hasbro still have any molds or prototypes of it? What would the chances be of seeing a Virago released today?

ANSWER:  The Virago was never tooled, as the somewhat ambitious plans for the continuation of the EU line at the time were scaled back. While it is a different story to do, we are committed to figures and have not gone the vehicle route for EU aside from repaints. It is doubtful we will get to the Virago in anything other than perhaps Titanium.


QUESTION:  The current R5 droid mold (used on R5-D4, R5-J2, and R5-F7) is close to "perfect", but there are a few glaring issues that should be addressed before this mold becomes the all-purpose version. They include the antenna, which comes out and may be lost easily; the pop-up motivator, which worked on R5-D4 but had diminishing returns on later uses; and the chest plate being a separate piece, which has been a problem on every figure to use the VOTC R2-D2 body. The head could just be retooled and used on the more-accurate R4-G9 body. Will these issues be addressed, or will we continue to get more less-than-perfect R5 figures?

ANSWER:  Most often it is a capacity issue - which tools are available when, etc. Certain elements, like a pop-out chest plate, are necessary parts of the design, but we will take your comments into account the next time we release.


QUESTION:  Also, could we get clarification on the Ishi Tib answer we received last round since there actually is no vintage precedent that we're aware of?

ANSWER:  (Thanks for giving us a chance to update out answer. We obviously misremembered the PotF version as vintage). While no new Ishi Tib is planned, we would probably do a Jabba's Palace one first. However, we're not sure on that…. given that the Ishi Tib have been fairly prominemt backgrounders in many places, it's possible we would do an entirely different version first.




SW COLLECTOR

QUESTION:  Hasbro, do you have any updates on the remaining Saga Legends Sandtroopers that you said we might see this spring? I tried to jot down all the "forthcoming" ones mentioned after the main four in the fall and here's what I came up with:

5. Dirty with black pauldron and probably Evolutions but maybe TSC body
6. Super-dirty Evolutions to be possibly released as a last shot
7. Clean with black (unpainted white) pauldron Corporal with TSC body.

Some claim the clean-black was a short run error that was quickly corrected but its existence caused a demand that made you consider turning it into an official running change at some point.

So, have any of these been released or are they going to be released this year, and can you settle for us whether or not the mysterious clean-black was ever released at the retail level or did all of the existing specimens come directly from Hasbro sources?

ANSWER:  There are five types of Sandtroopers total. The final (fifth) will be the clean with black (unpainted) TSC body, and our response was indeed to correct the very short run of error figures by getting it into wider distribution. Look for them to be showing up within the next month or so. The other two will not be coming out.


QUESTION:  With the Evolutions sets doing so well, could this be where we might finally see a figure of Senate Duel Palpatine, along with a new THE PHANTOM MENACE Darth Sidious and a non-action feature version of Empire Proclamation Palpatine? "The Palpatine Legacy" has a nice ring to it!

ANSWER:  We don't have a Palpatine set planned for Evolutions, but your suggestions are interesting. Maybe someday we would do a pack like this, if Evolutions returns, and if we haven't done these versions already (we have already slotted at least one of them into the basic figure line for a future wave).


QUESTION:  I see we're getting a new SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE Comic Pack with new sculpts of Leia and Xizor. Why still no Guri? She's been getting the brush-off for a decade now!

ANSWER:  You'll have to wait a little longer for Guri, as she still does not have a pack slotted in with her name on it. However, she has been bubbling to the surface of a number of internal conversations and chatboards, and we will be strongly considering her for a future wave. The wait may be awhile, but we think your patience will eventually be rewarded.




THE JAWA

QUESTION:  Since Hasbro was able to recently provide a nice "shield" half-piece for the Droideka, is it possible that someday we'll see something like this for a basic-carded eps2 Clone Pilot where he comes with a half-piece for the Ball Turret of the Republic gunship?

ANSWER:  We have looked at the turret, and it is simply not possible to include it on a basic figure card.  Does that mean that it won't be done? Not necessarily; it does remain on our list of things we want to tackle sometime, someday, but just haven't been able to fit it in anywhere.


QUESTION:  I love softgoods but I have to admit that there's never really been a case where the hood part of the cloak looks even remotely good. The hood always fails to convey the same sense of "weight" that a real hood would (obviously due to the scale of the figure I realize) so I was wondering if Hasbro would ever do something similar to the Sideshow 12" Darth Maul figure where the hood has a small wire running inside it that lets you shape the hood to look as it does in the movie?  If not that idea, then what about using a plastic head/hood combined with soft goods for the rest of the body (you did this with the TPM Darth Maul figure that came with the Sith Attack Speeder for e xample).

ANSWER:  That is an interesting idea.  We agree that the hood is a challenge to get it to look realistic in 3-3/4" scale, and we are looking for ways to make cloaks even better in a general sense for display purposes. One thing
we are looking at is exploring wire for cloak hems on a few of our upcoming figures (Kit Fiso in the upcoming Wal-Mart exclusive Droid Factory packs is one of them).  If the results are good, we will see if it offers a solution to help the hood keep shape.


QUESTION:  Will the VotC Lando sculpt ever be updated with ball-jointed elbows? I was more than a little disappointed when after years of waiting for Hasbro to make a Smuggler Lando from TESB, that the figure ended up just being a minor retool of the VotC mold given that the swivel elbows design meant an inability for the arms to be posed straight and more natural.  Will we ever see a better Smuggler Lando if the mold itself does get better elbows, say in a Battlepack or as part of a Saga Legends release?

Along those same lines, have you ever considered using the Battlepacks or Saga Legends line as a way to re-release older figures with minor but new SA updates to make the figure more appealing to collectors who may already have that figure?  For example, a RotS Aayla Secura or RotS Shaak-Ti but with ball-jointed elbows (since the swivel or fixed elbows were the only real flaw when these figures were originally released) or a taller 41st Elite trooper?  ; You mentioned that we are finally getting an "upgraded" SA Bacara in the upcoming Mygeeto battlepack for example. In all cases, these would be figures that you have 90% of the tooling for but with just a small added cost to update the tooling you'd be able to sell that figure again to those of us who want the real "ultimate" version of that character with the best articulation.

ANSWER:  Battlepacks are a great format for getting to some characters that we would not probably otherwise update, but it is on a scene-by-scene basis.  With some battlepacks we look to make them all new in some way, or leave them alone. Saga Legends will remain a line where the figures will be pretty much unchanged from their earlier form unless there is an updated body we can use (such as the 501st trooper migrated to an SA body).  Now, specifically on Lando, we just did this figure last year, so we don't have any plans to go back to him any time soon.  If someday we do update the VOTC Han body, then you can be sure it will be playing in the back of our heads that there is a future Lando upgrade waiting.  In the meantime, we really enjoy Smuggler Lando as a figure who was long overdue, in our opinion.




THE PRIVATE UNIVERSE

QUESTION:  The Mighty Muggs line has certainly been a welcome addition to the Hasbro stable for those of us who dig vinyl toys (especially those into collecting Biskup, Kozik, Brian Flynn etc).  However, given that the body shape is generic and that two of the most beloved Star Wars characters - Yoda and R2 - don't fit the dimensions, do you plan to represent them in this line by some other means? Or should we just accept that some icons won't make the Mighty Muggs concept?

ANSWER:  Yoda will in fact be seeing some Mighty Mugg love, in a form to be announced later this year. However, we still have not decided what to do with R2. As the series continues (and the response has been great thus far, so we are hopeful for a long run), you can be sure we will look for ways to get R2 (and his other Astromech stablemates) in there.


QUESTION:  A few fan sites have been touting alleged pics of the rumoured Millennium Falcon re-do. Do pics exist? Can we see them? Is this just wishful fan-boy thinking - or is the product actually in development / production?

ANSWER:  The pics that we could see - all based on wishful thinking - were of previous model kits or Code 3 product. We have not done anything to encourage hope that a new Millennium Falcon is in the works.


QUESTION:  We haven't seen the Indy line at retail yet, and already interest is focusing beyond your initial offerings - specifically on vehicles. The 'Last Crusade Tank' and 'Raider's Flying Wing' - are these something you've considered producing?

ANSWER:  We are indeed considering the Flying Wing for the vehicle line and are looking at whether it can be done in our $19.99 assortment (if we did it, it would be in '09 at the earliest). However, the Tank is just too big to do in our $19.99 vehicle line. As we don't have another, higher priced assortment in the IJ line, this one will have to be a "wait and see" based on the response to the IJ line, and possibly tied to future movies if we can't get it done for this one. The entire IJ line will have a shelf-date of 5/1.




To be continued.



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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2008, 11:41:03 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of April 4th, 2008 - Part 4


YAKFACE

QUESTION:  Dear Hasbro, in the forth coming Indiana Jones vehicles (which i might add are brilliant), you have made the inserts of the boxes into pull-out cardboard dioramas and crates. Is their any chance that you could do this for the Star Wars line since you will not produce stand alone playsets? Death Star corridors and Hoth hangars etc would be great.

ANSWER:  We have looked at this, but it's not so easy to do for Star Wars since this comes with an added cost that has not been factored into the continuing Star Wars vehicle line. When possible, we will look at the feasibility.


QUESTION:  I recently purchased the Force Unleashed Jump Trooper and I understand why you didn't make his new gun and gave him an existing similar gun, but on the cardback it shows him with a jetpack on and even mentions it in the description; so why did you make a jump trooper without a jetpack - the main requirement for his expertise?

ANSWER:  We try very hard to create product that accurately relates to the SW fantasy and with the highest levels of authenticity and detail. But, the development timelines for the video game are much more fluid than our product development schedule and we were using the best reference we had at the time (which was supplied by LFL) to create the figures. The reason he does not have the correct gun and jet pack is because those were added to the game after we had the product designed, sculpted, and released for tooling. We were however able to match the package copy and images on the package to match the game because these type of changes can happen very late in our development process where as the actual product can not change because of the time needed for tooling and ramp-up time on production capacities.


QUESTION:  Dear Hasbro, for several weeks now there have been a couple images floating around of a Stormtrooper Commander (an OT-style Stormtrooper with blue markings) from THE FORCE UNLEASHED line. According to the figure backer card, there is no number indicating that it is part of the “basic” figure series. Is this a store exclusive item? If so where/when will it be available?

ANSWER:  This figure, a Stormtrooper Commander, will indeed be released as part of an upcoming promotion dealing with The Force Unleashed. As the game was delayed, so too was the promotion. Details have still yet to be announced or finalized, but the figure should be out around the time the game is released.




More to come.

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